A Watch From Brazil

My mom sent me a funny little watch from somewhere far away, the one with a second hand (stuck on a shelf) and a green band. She also sent me piles of old photos to put in my computer, along with an old 7-Up can that’s never been opened. Her note said this would be worth a lot of money in the future, she hopes, ha ha.

I’m afraid to open the rest.

You think it’s neat to know. It’s frightening and it’s lonely. Sometimes, I feel terribly empty inside, as if I’d already lost every one I’d ever loved, before I ever said hello.

So, my dream this morning, afternoon, I forget…


I’m home. I feel an enormous, black vacuum in the living room. Outside, children play, their entire lives ahead of them. Inside is death. My mom and my husband sit across from one another. They exchange looks before dancing around the subject, the sudden realization that their cancers have turned into a truly monstrous thing. 

“I thought I was doing fine,” my husband says shakily. My mom tells me to put on these special glasses, to see better what they’re talking about, because she can’t bear to tell me.

“I’m already wearing them. I’ve been wearing them all my life.”

I run to a bustling common area, full of vendors, sounds and fry bread. I ask the lady behind a counter if she will help me get through to Chuck on my cell phone, the cell phone that never works. I need to talk to Chuck, Chuck will know what to do.

I will die on the streets. My son will go to the State. Somebody help me.

In the distance, I can feel a man coming toward me.


It doesn’t take a psychic to know my mom is getting on in years. She barely calls me anymore. When she does, she says very little. Now, she’s starting to send me her things.

Did the cancer come back?

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A New Friend from the Ashes

I’ve been through my own special kind of hell this past week dealing with dickless wonders at my son’s now-former soccer club.

I watched a bad coach get away with quitting on a team and tripping on his own unhindered ego, while the board supported him. I watched heroes get the shaft and the assholes win by gaming the system.

I watched enough to turn my stomach.

We recently walked away from another soccer club that did us wrong, and never looked back. But not without me writing a scathing goodbye letter.

My son told me what you [did] at Thurs. practice. He was devastated. All he ever wanted was to give his team 100 percent every time. 

His father and I are thoroughly disgusted and appalled by the way you and select board members have chosen to handle this situation. Going over the details would do neither of any good. 

We believe it’s best to part company with the team and the club, effective immediately. I’ve already issued a team email/announcement on behalf of my son, and removed myself from the roster. Of course, we will not attend Tuesday’s parent meeting, as we now know it would be a complete waste of our time.

Right now, we need to tend to our son, who is emotionally wrecked because of his recent experience with your club.
Do not contact us again. I think we’ve heard enough from you.

November 16, 2018

At the end of it, I found unexpected treasure in the midst of the ashes, I found a new friend, a true and real friend, very much like me. She makes me laugh. She’s been through her own hell, although you’d never know it from her bubbly personality. It’s easy between us, never forced. I feel safe, warm and fuzzy around her and her family. Her oldest son is a total badass like me. Their story moved me so suddenly and so intensely that I sat up in bed the other night, and bawled like a little girl.

My irritated husband asked what was wrong, so I went to hold him as I wept and shook, and then he went to the bathroom, turned over and went back to sleep.

We have a love for the ages. Clearly. But that’s for another story…

I also found a few heroes in the bunch. While many stayed silent, or downright sided with evil, a handful of us stepped up to do the right thing about the bad coach. More and more of the parents will attend a private meeting I supposedly demanded of the board this coming Tuesday night. At the meeting, they plan to share their grievances about the coach, some three years’ worth.

Most of them are doing it in large part for my son, who stood up to the coach, stepped in as coach himself during the second half of a soccer match when the team’s actual coach gave up, petitioned the board, via my emails, to have this coach removed, and subsequently, endured this same coach cornering and confronting him at Thursday’s practice — without anybody from the team backing him up, and none of his parents present.

My son literally took it for the team. Not his first time at this rodeo, either.

Yeah, I’m one proud mama.


I never believed in a million years I could ever find a real friend again. I gave up trying. We all know what happened when I tried too hard, last December back in 2017. I settled for whatever crumbs I got.

But this woman… If I could dream up the perfect friend for me, it would be her. And she was there all along at these soccer games, cheering and chortling, cracking jokes and diving into my homemade cookies.

Now, she’s taking on the soccer club, on behalf of her boys, my son, and the rest of the teams she’s managed for several years, because it’s the right thing to do — even if the board’s already made up its mind about supporting the coach, even if the board already plans on kicking her and her family out of the club, based on the coach’s (ridiculous) claims that they’re trouble.

I’m so lucky to be her friend.

Does this mean my one true love is waiting for me just around the corner? Hmm.

Bald Sydney

Dream, Nov. 17, 2018

I’m in Sydney, I think.
My dyslexia’s really bad. Coffee detox.

We ride the waves on the Pacific Highway,
in a car going well over the speed limit. There’s water,
everywhere, an ocean to my right. Any minute,
we’re liable to topple into the sea, my son and me.
A cop passes with a light, “Slow down, son,”
after he jumps a huge mountain of a wave,
skidding toward that great big moving mass of blue.

There’s a restaurant called The Lady and the ?
My son leads me through a shortcut through the kitchen.
The middle-aged gray-haired lady knows him. We sit with her,
shoving lobster and mustard into our mouths, surrounded by
shiny clattering silver, porcelain, and these tall shimmering skylights.
The city is a bustling, hustling ball of new.


I am a different woman, a woman with no family, a woman all alone now…

The end is where I am alone with this man, the bass player from a band I reviewed.
His name is Rico. We watch a movie show. We do what movie show actors do.
I am bent over, he is with me, a quick and dirty mass for two starving beggars.
After I drown in his sloppy, eager need, I turn, looking over my shoulder,
“Did we kiss?”
“Yes,” he said, and smiles. His smile is the sun and the lightning flash. “I kissed you.”
“Kiss me again.”

It is 4:08 p.m. when I turn around.

Punishment

Punishment is watching hands and claws, words and memes
tear out the ones you love.

Let them be wrong. So the strong survive, and the weak,
well, they make headline news, maybe a book deal on the way.

Narcissists make the ugliest Christmas tree ornaments.

well meaning well meaning putrid punishment, go find me a fishing line

emotional vampire

where were you,
a cold and 500 excuses away?

oh you emotional vampires,
exceeding me now, with your
friendly gestures, if only I
had the change to spare

give them a feeding,
my tears, better yet, pull-quotes for the dead,
a letter of recommendation,
my fire and brimstone
blood on the water

no one sings a song for me
no dance, my own

you save your dedications,
and your posts for these confounding regulation models,
antique dolls, they go for, what?, five pound quids?
$1,500 on display?

my song is my name, bread,
my gnarled, wizened hands, when once you turned your back to me
these many lonely nights, when I reached out,
my conversation a beggar’s purse, “Please care about me. Please,
just one crumb for my treasure chest. Tell me the truth.”

polite, remote, boring,
as always

kind, cowardly sir…

I will not pay.

Detox Paleo Life

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How in the world am I going to survive New York City in January? (Photo by Jordan Rowland on Unsplash)

First, go to Comfy Belly for all the Paleo things that will save your holidays, and your life. PaleoRunningMomma on Instagram is also a reliable source; I’m going to bake her Chocolate Cake for my Thanksgiving Birthday, minus the frosting.

Initially, I’d planned on going whole hog for my Thanksgiving Birthday Weekend. You know, every bad thing I could think of to eat, I’d eat.

Our son suggested fondue, chocolate and cheese. I found a simple, beer-based cheddar recipe I could make and warm in the crockpot. ? on renting a chocolate fountain.

Definitely Hidden Valley® Ranch Spinach Dip in a sourdough bread bowl with lots of sourdough bread cubes for dipping, am I right?

After our son added bean dip and chips, I felt a twinge of regret for the traditional Thanksgiving turkey feast I grew up on.

It’s been awhile, since we experienced back-to-back health crises with our son’s asthma and my husband’s bladder cancer. The last time I remember loading up on turkey and all the fixings, I was at a Golden Corral in Spokane and James was hunched over in the parking lot wheezing himself blue in the face. He’d spend a sleepless Thanksgiving night in our Marriott hotel room before heading back to the ER.

Same with my husband Ed, whose bladder cancer diagnosis, surgery, and post-surgery ER visit happened around this same festive season, October through December, while the rest of the world celebrated … Fa La La!

So, you understand my twisted relationship with the holidays.

But, life goes on — G-d willing — and so does my birthday. I couldn’t let go of the need to return to my traditional Thanksgiving somehow, take it back, rewrite a better outcome for my family. I mean, we still had a frozen bird left in the garage freezer after James’ first series of asthma attacks!

Maybe it’s time to make new memories.

But wait!

I nearly went to the ER a second time this year. The day before Halloween, this Halloween, I finished cooking up my chili, Hawaii style, threw a few more green grapes in my mouth, and sat down to watch the rest of “Dancing With The Stars,” when my gut began to cry out for help. The dull pain grew into a roar, sending me to the bathroom like a drunken sailor.

I sat on the toilet for almost 40 minutes in searing pain, my upper abdomen swelling up, sweat pouring down my face, hands shaking and numb. I couldn’t think straight, but eventually, when I realized the pain wasn’t going anywhere, I made myself get up to drink some water. I also emptied my bowels violently, re-rupturing my internal hemorrhoids, blood in the water.

Somehow, the pain slowly subsided. My right forefinger cramped, spasming itself into a straight line, locked and loaded. That went away slowly too.

I immediately made an appointment with our gastroenterologist, the one who removed a small precancerous polyp at my last colonoscopy two summers ago. (The next one is due in 2020. Hah!) I see her on Nov. 14. Knock wood.

This incident scared me into changing the Thanksgiving Birthday Menu with more Paleo-friendly recipes, including a Chocolate Cake and No-Corn Cornbread Stuffing… and to start detoxing, asap, at least for a week.

Knowing I’ll see the gastro doctor is extra incentive to keep on the detox track. The last thing I want is to see my blood sugars back on the Pre-diabetic range, not when I know what else is in store: an endoscopy and maybe another colonoscopy. What fun!

In the meantime, I’m scaring myself silly with Dr. Google and his nurse practitioner YouTube, telling me we all have Pre-diabetes, waiting to progress to the real thing anyway.

I hate going to the doctor. I hate this.

Currently, I’m on Day 5 of detox: power veggie bowls, some protein, some nuts, lots of water, nothing else.

After a week is up this Wed., I’ll go back on my regular IT diet, with more fruit, green smoothies, some beans, and maybe cheese. But no coffee, and no cheat days until Thanksgiving, when I’ll allow just a little bit. Maybe.

I just want to see how my body feels after a week of this detox, which is killing me, btw.

Coffee, I miss you!

I’ve hit the treadmill for 40-minute walks every day. I’m trying like hell to keep busy, writing, watching TV, listening to good music, crocheting, reading, talking to people, normal human stuff. So far, so good.

In the future, I think I’d like to allow myself one or two cheat days per month on the road to recovery, and the 130-pound end goal. I’m sick of staying on this 165-189 lb. plateau.

I think I can do it, too. Once I set my mind on something, it’s a done deal.

Problem is… life keeps getting in the way and being a bitch. We’re going back to New York City for a much-needed trip in Jan.

Bagels, pizza, jelly donuts, bacon and egg on a hard roll, Matzoh Ball soup, Papaya Dogs… OMG.

Can I do this?

Don’t count me out. I’m the queen of comebacks. It’s kinda my forte.


As of Thurs., Nov. 8, 2018, I weighed 171 lbs. — one week after restarting a Keto-friendly diet in earnest, in preparation for my Nov. 14th gastro appt. When I started, a week prior, I was 179 lbs. Several weeks, in mid-Oct., 182 lbs. I intended on relaxing the diet this last week before the doctor’s appt., but I’m going to stick with it, adjusting for a green smoothie, Kombucha, to see what works and what doesn’t.

Titas Reunion

Cynthia Haynes gave me her long-johns, because I bled on my sweats. Nobody minded at our high school reunion. Only titas came, and me, her plus-one. I don’t know why I’m hemorrhaging from my insides out.

Everything is cancer or diabetes, cooking in a hot bottle rocket container, that is me. I forgot to lock the door behind me, brush my teeth, brush my hair, do the right thing.

Demons come scratching at my legs, numbing my fingers, stomping my head, the pain is unbearable.

Everyone dies sometime. I might as well, in this smoky place with these smoky people.

Dream, Nov. 3, 2018.

What it’s like to be autistic

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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

In a dream…

I am always alone. Doing things. Mindless things. Watching others fall in love, as if from a fair distance. A patient in Rm. 9, gauze surround sound, the everyday conversation of nurses: my, how their garden grows.

I believed this man loved me. I stayed in the room, in his presence, a kind of date, waiting for him to court me, to say those words I hear everyone else say to one another. He just stood there, staring out the window, staring at his watch. He had nothing to say to me. He never would.

You think too highly of yourself. Look, you are a monster. No one will pay. You are not the trend today, or tomorrow.

Do you know what it’s like to wait for a lover who never shows? He stops at my face, his words dry up in a kettle on the stove, making a horrible sound, alarm clocks and screaming babies. My face is a locked door, rusted over, covered with nails and jagged spikes.

To watch that face soften, the door unlock, his soul yielding to the circumference of her beauty. Her. So many her. I mix and match them up in my spare time. For kicks.

I wouldn’t know what to say. I am a brute nebulizer, an untidy force swirling in my cage. Decades and centuries pass. Yellow to gray and yellow again.

I am ugly. Don’t say it again.

snow, fell

snow fell
frozen starlight
a girl in a house
in the middle of nowhere
this forest

I talked with the nurse. It was my time. They light this thin tube, and then, it’s over. Chocolate ice cream, just like when I was yea high.

Chicago turns into Montana, hills
and dirt, dirty suburban houses time forgot
early 20th century Archie Bunker, where is my home?

The snow makes everything new.